Rhode Island’s Offshore Renewable Energy

For the past 50 years, the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center and Rhode Island Sea Grant have worked in tandem to communicate a host of unbiased science-based findings to Rhode Island communities. Throughout the last decade, one new project that has joined our portfolio is offshore wind. With the United States positioning itself to rapidly become a world producer of electricity by way of offshore wind energy, we’ve found that there are still many unanswered questions about this industry which has flourished in other parts of the world since 1991. To answer these questions, our team has developed a new set of tools and programs such as URI’s Offshore Renewable Energy website, the 2021 Offshore Renewable Energy: Learning as We Go Webinar and Podcast Series and the Ask the Experts database. Rhode Island, through the creation of the Block Island Wind farm, is the first state to host offshore wind energy in the country, and the University of Rhode Island is pleased to provide the data necessary to help empower and equip you to best understand and engage with the offshore renewable energy and wind industry.

In our efforts to do so, we have developed URI’s Offshore Renewable Energy website which serves as a neutral broker and provider of science-based information to help our stakeholders — government, private sector, academic, and community members — effectively collaborate on choices regarding the rapidly developing offshore renewable energy arena. This website is open to the public and is home to academic research, policy briefings, opportunities for students, noteworthy news, university experts, events, and more. The site also houses our new web-based offshore renewable energy outreach resource— Ask the Experts. The Ask the Experts database presents stakeholders with an opportunity to learn about offshore renewable energy topics, watch and listen to interviews conducted with trusted university researchers, and submit their own questions. Our team works to synthesize and translate pre-existing studies into approachable user-friendly reading experiences to deliver objective and trusted information about offshore renewable energy.

Also, along with our many partners, we have been hosting the 2021 Offshore Renewable Energy: Learning as We Go Webinar and Podcast Series to share our learning of various aspects of the offshore wind energy industry. This series, held virtually, has focused on facilitating discussions based upon the following questions: How can we use port infrastructure investment as an opportunity to develop green ports? What skills and networks should students foster to be best prepared to work in the offshore wind development industry? What is the role of research platforms in advancing offshore renewable energy? and What strategies and techniques can be applied to use the ocean more efficiently? This series allows stakeholders to ask questions to both researchers and other participants while continuing to further both of our knowledge on offshore wind.